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24-441 Design 2: Conceptualization and Realization

The No-Hassle Clothes Hanger

Final Report

Group B4: Mark T. Brandau, Meehyun Jang, Patrick Ward

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Contents

Summary ........................................................................................................................................

3

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................

3

Motivation

 

3

Existing Product

4

 

5

Design Team

 

5

 

6

User Study

 

6

 

9

VOA

10

Concept Generation

 

11

Brainstorming 1

11

 

13

15

Prototype Design

 

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Prototype

1:

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Prototype

2

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Prototype

3

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Conclusion from

the Prototypes

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Detailed Design

20

Design Parts

20

 

21

 

Manufacturing Techniques

22

Assembly

of the Parts

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Life Cycle Assessment

.................................................................................................................

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Cost Report ..................................................................................................................................

24

Evaluation ....................................................................................................................................

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Conclusion

 

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What We Learned

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Summary

Using the time and materials available in one semester, we have identified a need and issue of an existing product and we searched for a new answer. After a market research, a scope of clothes organization was chosen and we sought for any particular issue or need for the consumer until a certain discovery was made; the current tools available for clothes shopping creates large amount of hassle and waste of time. From this point, a concept was generated and refined through multiple brainstorming sessions, and then final concept was made into a final product after 3 prototypes. As the time of deadline drew closer, the design and engineering analysis processes become much more detailed. Through the designing process, the progress and outcomes were constantly evaluated to find flaws and maximize the result. The project itself faced many challenges as there were various issue regard to its design, but as well as the team work involved. As the final result, clothes hanger with variable geometry was manufactured that fulfilled mostly to our initial evaluation of improvement from the original, existing clothes hanger.

Introduction

Motivation

Organization is one of the key factors relating to productivity in clothing stores as it can greatly improve the experience for both the employees and the customers. Unfortunately, the current products available to display, store, and organize clothing articles are not entirely promising. These insufficient products lead to many awkward behaviors that are frequently observed in both the employees and the customers. In addition, the insufficient functionality of the available devices causes disorganization to escalate very quickly during busy shopping hours. It was discovered that inefficiency of organizing caused inconvenience to both shoppers and the employees as frustrated shoppers refuse to keep clothes in an organized state which creates more work for the employees. These employees must also make time to take care of customer’s other needs in a store, which is difficult when their time is sapped away trying to keep clothes organized. We identified this to be the problem and sought for the best solution that would increase the efficiency of organizing devices in clothing stores.

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Existing Product

4 Existing Product Existing hangers used in clothing shop come in many different shapes but there

Existing hangers used in clothing shop come in many different shapes but there are definitely some governing features such as slight angle on the shoulder pads and the overall “triangular” shape due to the hook. Even though there are variations depending on the store, the amount of time required for users to handle them does not vary at all. This is mainly because of the way the hanger is shaped; the hanger must have a hook extending out from the neck-opening of the clothing articles while still supporting the clothes by applying force on the shoulder area. Due to a requirement that clothes must be suspended in a vertical manner, the clothes hanger must be shaped like shown above. While this shape is optimal for hanging clothing articles, it is not very friendly for inserting and removing the hanger in and out of clothes rapidly. This hanger is also notoriously troublesome to use if the clothes have inflexible, thin neck area such as sweaters and even some shirts. This information was extracted from market research, which will be discussed in detail in “Market Research” Section in page 6.

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New Product/Solution

As a solution, the hanger was designed to be able to change its shape so that it can be quickly inserted from the top, through neck-opening of clothes instead from entering from the bottom. This variable geometry also have handles on the top so that this tool would be operated easily using one hand, giving only a single motion for it to enter clothing and be released once the hanger is fully inserted, and ready to be hanged promptly.

5 New Product/Solution As a solution, the hanger was designed to be able to change its

Design Team

Meehyun Jang: A senior mechanical engineering, she has a strong interest in drawing which she used to great effect during the conceptualization of the product. During the early stage, she was also active for brainstorming and market researching for the issue and narrowing down the project scope.

Mark Brandau: Mark is a graduating senior entering the US Navy submarine fleet. His main contribution to the project was in the manufacture of the prototypes. He also played a big part in our market research and in the writing of our reports.

Patrick Ward: A senior mechanical engineering student who will be working next year in his hometown of Washington, D.C. doing naval engineering for CSC. Handled the bulk of the Computer-aided Design work in SolidWorks, and put verbal and interpersonal skills to good use in taking the lead in the writing of design reports and the giving of design presentations.

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Market Research

We looked into the market to see what could be improved at the retail level for clothing management. We asked employees at several major retail outlets, including Marshall’s, Macy’s and TJ Max what their main issues with their jobs were. They described it as constantly turning over clothing that customers had tried on and carelessly left out, or, in the fitting rooms, where there is always turnover to be done. Employees often complained that their job is repetitive and inefficient. Employees to whom we showed our second prototype were greatly enthused by it, saying it would be a major help to them if we could make it work as advertised.

User Study

User 1: Home users and students

This portion of the research, unfortunately, was done prior to the conclusion made about the correct question form. Therefore they were asked in a form of “what are the inconveniences of using the following devices?” or “what are the inconveniences encountered while organizing clothes?” Half of the users were interviewed by physical contact while the other half were contacted over the internet. The users from the physical contacts were 6 students entirely from Carnegie Mellon University. Many were still utilizing the clothes hangers with some use of drawers, and only 1 out of 6 students did not mention any trouble. Through this interaction, it was concluded that hangers and drawers have the following issues.

Hangers: Very inconvenient with shirts with buttons. They tend to break in the base of its

triangular structure. They are often let the clothes slip off. Drawers: They are not “deep enough”.

The contacts obtained from internet were entirely students as well (2 out of 12 were high school students. 1 out of 12 graduated but have no job. The rest were still attending college), but they were not from the same school, and surprisingly, none of them were using hangers except for hanging larger clothes such as winter coat.

Hangers: Not used except for coats or pants.

Drawers: Clothes become stuck in the small gap between the drawer and its containing

box. The drawer themselves get stuck. They are incapable of being “spacey”. Baskets: More convenient than hangers and drawers, thus most users claimed to use

them. However the accessibility is too low (they cannot find the clothes they want quickly). Other odd devices the users were utilizing were “pillow cases”, “shelves”, and “cubes”. All of them appeared to be substitutes with which to avoid using clothes hangers.

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User 2: Department store employees

For these users, the questioning approach changed; now they were asked to go through their typical day at work. Depending on the structure of the store, the worker’s schedule was different.

Large Malls [Macy’s] : We defined this type of store to be “oriented by categories”.

Employees work by their “station” which also includes their “sections” of clothes. Worker’s schedule flexibly changes between three tasks: taking care of customers, organizing or “cleaning up”, and relocating or redistributing clothes back to display. Taking care of customers mainly involved helping the customers check out or accepting unwanted clothes. Organizing clothes required workers to walk around their section and pick up any items that are not displayed correctly, such as ones abandoned by customers or dropped to the floor. Redistributing clothes was done to return all clothes into their correct section. These clothes pile up from multiple sources; from their station, clothes in wrong categories or section, and clothes from the fitting room. Taking care of customers had the highest priority, but the workers shared that the redistributing task took the longest time, thus the redistributing task is not initiated until the clothes have piled up significantly or there are no customers in their station. Some employees explained their tasks before the stores opens up. The tasks were mainly organizing, but a device called “folding table” and “folding board”(more mobile) was introduced. These tools are considered “unattractive”, thus they are usually hidden from being seen by the customers. This causes the employees to fold clothes using their hands during the time the shop is open. Small Store [Gap, Express] : We also defined this type of store to be “oriented by

categories”, except in a smaller form. The tasks were very similar among the employees except that there are no “stations”, thus employees are separated to take care of different tasks (but these switch after a certain amount of time). One observation we made in the Express left us an odd impression was that the employees were folding clothes using folding boards in sight. After few questioning, they moved it away but they claimed that this was due to larger quantity of clothes were displayed in a folded manner on table and shelves. Other [TJ Max, Marshalls]: We defined this type of store to be “oriented by discounts” because the categorizing in these stores was a lot more general, and everything was displayed in a cluttered and chaotic fashion, only separated by sizes or by very general categories such as “man” and “woman”. The workers also rotated changing their tasks which were mainly standing by the cashier, redistributing items, and watching over the fitting room. The unique features of these stores was that employees were required to stand by the fitting room and wait for enough clothes to pile up on their rack, which are redistributed later into the correct section. Because organized look of the store is not as important as category-oriented stores, workers do not take care of clothes as much but collecting and redistributing clothes are done in a bigger bulk.

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The following behaviors were observed when not employees were uninterrupted.

Nearly constantly go back to pick up clothes from shelves, racks, and floors. (For Category-oriented shops) In a large mall, because each employee must take care of each section, they move around quite frequently.

Look for clothes missing hangers, and hangers missing clothes.

Reorient clothes to face the correct directions of they are not.

When their “pile” in their back station is big enough, put hangers into each clothes and return each of them to display. (According to the worker, a mobile rack is used on very busy days)

Use folding board to fold shirts, but very often simply use hands.

User 3: Shoppers

The same approach was used for questioning these audiences. The answers were less thorough as they have only one task to perform; to buy the item they desire. After a few attempts of directly approaching the customers, we moved on to observing instead. The following behaviors were observed when uninterrupted. Both behaviors were equally found in all three types of stores studied.

Shoppers carried items using hands and arms to hold all clothes; it seemed to lack security as some clothes slide off or the hanger drops from the clothes. Even so, the shoppers avoided using carts unless they were planning to buy non-clothing items.

Unless they were navigating the clothes in the correct direction, the clothes often end up oriented in an incorrect direction by the time the customers are trying to put the cloth back into the rack. The customers either reoriented hanger’s hook, or return the cloth on the rack by reversing the way cloth faces.

They easily left clothes on the rack or any flat surfaces available if it was too inconvenient to return them to hangers.

Push brackets of clothes on rack forcefully to create space to navigate/insert/remove items.

Various methods for inserting hanger into clothes quickly such as shoving hangers into clothes through the neck, or pushing their hand through the clothes, grab the hanger, and pull it inside. All methods required two hands.

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SET Factor Analysis

Social:

Disorganized look have many negative impact on how one view another, a group, or even a company. Organizing and taking care of the neat look is frequently practiced among many different groups of people, and one of the objects that often fall under need of organizing is clothes; shirts and pants laying on the floor, or jackets and coats hanging sloppily is not a very nice sight under various surrounding. One of the reason the clothes are found unorganized is due to the fact that effort is required to maintain an organized area. Depending on the individual, if the effort is too much for them, the clothes will be found unorganized more frequently. If the current device available for clothes organization was made to be more effective, allowing it to be used with less time and effort, people would keep their personal spaces more organized, and department stores would too. This would benefit personal users since they would have a neater home and that would allow them to feel less awkward about inviting friends over.

Economy:

Currently, our economy is going down, this will cause many consumers to be more careful and sensitive how much they spend on their every need, and look for cheaper products when available. Department store like to emphasize current clearance to the consumers and this will may attract shoppers more due to the current economy status. As observed, the clearance section of the stores does not categorize clothes as much. Also, they are displayed in a cluttered fashion which forces shoppers to go through each clothing articles; more clothing will be touched, taken out, tried on, and sloppily put back. Because of this, department stores will be more prone to chaos and so will the shopping environment for the shoppers. The ease of access, faster and more efficient transfers, and the organization of clothing are essential to create better shopping environment. With a neater environment, shoppers will be happier. Happier people spend more money at stores. Also, if things are more organized, then they may spot something they like that they would have missed if it was chaos instead of order. On the employee side of the house, a disorganized store caused by shopper negligence will both give them more pointless work and make them unhappier, both of which detract from their performance. If it is far easier for consumers to replace their stuff, then the employees will have less pointless work and be happier, increasing their productivity.

Technology:

The techniques used for storage of items here are technological factors that can be adapted to other industries. Additionally, there is serious gadget factor potential in this area, since existing products are so bland.

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VOA

[Red = Existing,

10 VOA [ Red = Existing , Yellow = existing tied with planned, Green = Planned

Yellow = existing tied with planned, Green = Planned Improvement]

   

Low

Med

High

Emotion

Adventure

     
 

Independence

     
 

Security

     
 

Sensuality

     
 

Confidence

     
 

Power

     

Ergonomics

Comfort

     
 

Safety

     
 

Ease of use

     

Aesthetics

Visual

     
 

Auditory

     
 

Tactile

     
 

Olfactory

     
 

Gustatory

     

Identity

Point in time

     
 

Sense of place

     
 

Personality

     

Impact

Social

     
 

Environmental

     

Core Tech

Reliable

     
 

Enabling

     

Quality

Craftsmanship

     
 

Durability

     
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Concept Generation

After our research, we identified several areas that could be improved through the use of engineering. We saw that the hanger, folding board, and clothing rack could be improved by our team. We then had a brainstorming session that outlined a large number of concepts we could use, and came up with the following ideas for our product. Our project had total of 2 major brainstorming sessions. The first one served as a very general and unrestricted conceptual brainstorming whereas the second one was done with a more realistic, solution-oriented purpose. Also note that the first brainstorming session had a much wider scope, also including ideas for other products such as clothing rack and even drawers, as the final product had not been specifically chosen.

Brainstorming 1

Only the concepts that are more relevant to our final design are listed here.

Clothes Hangers

11 Concept Generation After our research, we identified several areas that could be improved through the

Folding clothes hanger with Spring Mechanism Pull-string retraction, possibly with some kind of lock. Magnetic hangers Ball hanger with hollow rack Click-top release Electronic alarm for misplaced clothes Helical device wrapping around Variable Length to vary separation amount Color coded divider by size Fat hanger tops to create separation Double-sided hook or a hook that automatically goes in correct direction Higher strength plastic or possibly cheap metal Robot to grab and sort all of the clothes Multiple locked settings to make it variable-width Customizable notches to fit different types of clothing Bendable small hanger you can wear your clothes with Loop Hanger that is adjustable Disconnectable hanger

11 Concept Generation After our research, we identified several areas that could be improved through the
11 Concept Generation After our research, we identified several areas that could be improved through the
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12 Clothes Rack ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ Cut notches into clothes

Clothes Rack

Cut notches into clothes rack Removable pants rack (hinged) Telescoping rack pole Clamps to hold clothing still while ironing Stacking baskets with lock to keep together Template for folding board for each set of clothes Compartmentalized clothing rack Bendable rack A clothes shopping “Cart”/Removable Rack

12 Clothes Rack ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ Cut notches into clothes

Customer Relations

Label showing portion of store it belongs in

Signs encouraging customer to help keep organized

Drop-bar/basket for loose items

Put extra hangers at drop-box

With this brainstorming session finished, we then selected several of the most promising possibilities from these concepts and then ran a detailed analysis on them by creating Pugh Charts.

       

Torsional

   

Push-

Spring

Existing

Weight

Selection

Pull

Magnetic

and-

with

Fixed

of

Criteria

String

head

Release

lock.

Hanger

Category

Ease of Use

4

1

4

4

-2

1

Reduction

           

of Effort

3

2

3

4

0

1

Ease of

           

Manufacture

-1

-1

-4

-1

0

0.6

Gadget

           

Appeal

1

2

3

2

0

0.25

Durability

2

2

3

1

-1

0.7

Structure

           

Complexity

-2

0

-2

-1

0

0.5

Possible

           

Cost

-2

0

-1

-1

3

0.6

Weight

1

0

0

1

2

0.3

 

Net Score

6.15

4.3

5.85

7.8

-0.3

 
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From our Pugh analysis, we saw that a torsional spring with a lock would be the best solution to fill in our opportunity gap. A pull string mechanism was also considered for this one, but the torsional spring was selected because it allowed easy one-handed operation, unlike the string, which would require the use of both hands.

Brain Storming 2

Second brainstorming was done to search for better conceptual ideas. In parallel, it was also done to design the product in more detail. The second brainstorming session was not carefully recorded but there are examples of the outcomes:

13 From our Pugh analysis, we saw that a torsional spring with a lock would be

This is a sketch for the joint concept where all the joints are shaped so that all arms can stay in the same plane no matter how they rotate. The sketch also includes early concept for the snap joints.

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14 This is sketch of a different version of hanger with torsional spring. The design was

This is sketch of a different version of hanger with torsional spring. The design was made so that it uses two handles instead of one. The angular distance between two handles is crucial since the first handle is used to “unlock” the clothes hanger so that it can become collapsed. This design was disregarded due to too much number of parts as well as undesirably high amount of complication.

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15 The outcome of the second prototype did not drastically change the direction from the top

The outcome of the second prototype did not drastically change the direction from the top concepts chosen from the first prototype, but it provided the project sufficient concepts for it to develop more into the detail.

Sketches of Top Concepts

15 The outcome of the second prototype did not drastically change the direction from the top

Pull-String Hanger

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16 P ush-Button Locking Mechanism Torsional Spring in Joint Sim ple folding clothes hanger with stoppers

P ush-Button Locking Mechanism

16 P ush-Button Locking Mechanism Torsional Spring in Joint Sim ple folding clothes hanger with stoppers

Torsional Spring in Joint

16 P ush-Button Locking Mechanism Torsional Spring in Joint Sim ple folding clothes hanger with stoppers

Sim ple folding clothes hanger with stoppers

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Prototype Design

Prototype 1:

17 Prototype Design Prototype 1: Purpose : Prior to building this prototype, the brainstorming stage had

Purpose:

Prior to building this prototype, the brainstorming stage had reduced all of our initial candidates down to four concepts. Even though, through Pugh chart analysis, the ranks of each concept were pretty clear, due to each concept’s unique features, especially for the joint constructions, it was difficult to completely disregard any one idea. Therefore, this prototype was created prior to officially choosing one design, with the hope that a simple prototype would reveal the better concepts to use based on movement constraints and any problems encountered with the prototype. It was also created to be made quickly and cheaply and give us the option of trying out multiple designs at one time.

Construction:

This step of prototype itself had its own prototype and the final prototype was reached after multiple tries and change in plan of construction. As a result, a cardboard prototype with four joints and a stopper was created. This prototype design was expected to remove the complicated need of multiple locks for joints but instead operate only with one lock and release mechanism on the top joint. How it works it that, when an amount of weight is applied to two top arms of the structure, the lower two arms would collapse upward, but they will be prevented from actually collapsing by a “catcher” was installed at an arbitrary location where the lower arms and the upper arm intersect.

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Prototype 2

18 Prototype 2 Purpose: This prototype has the same basic role as the first prototype, except

Purpose:

This prototype has the same basic role as the first prototype, except that it had a more

elaborate construction. This prototype was built in order to see whether the hanger will behave correctly with its peculiar geometry along with “stoppers” installed, especially when the user want to collapse the clothes hanger, and return it to its original position using handles.

Construction:

Similar to the last prototype, the basic components of the model were four heavy-paper joints, two identical upper arms, two identical lower arms, and a hook at the top. However, this

time the arms were constructed from wires which were wrapped around each joint to reduce the friction. These wires were then wrapped in cardboard sleeves to provide extra stability, as the wires were very malleable and not very rigid. Also to add rigidity, the spool-joints were extended out to provide a guiding track for the arms as they rotated and prevent unwanted twisting. Also, additional foam pieces were added near the side joints to serve as the “catcher” mechanism. Lastly, to prevent bending in wires, they became secured between two cardboard arms. The lengths of the card board arms are not long enough to touch the spool.

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Prototype 3

19 Prototype 3 Purpose: The third prototype, which was the last prototype that was built before

Purpose:

The third prototype, which was the last prototype that was built before the construction of the final design, was made to test one of the concerns of a new change in the design; the scissor- like handle operation unlike the previous prototype where each handles were simple protrusion from each of the arms. In this design, because the handles are in scissor like orientation, squeezing action on the system will collapse will only apply more load onto the hanger, only causing it to press on the stopper without resulting any movement.

Construction:

It was constructed from cut wooden dowel rods, using thick paper rolls as the joints, and

a hook cut off a conventional clothes hanger as the hook. The scissor-like handles were implemented hoping that it would work better if an elastic mechanism is applied, but because third prototype was not very well constructed, it resulted no new insights.

Conclusion from the Prototypes

One of the key facts we learned during our prototyping was the idea that we could use the hanger’s geometry to hold it up rather than a spring or a lock, something we didn’t know until we constructed our first prototype. From the second prototype, we concluded that a scissoring mechanism, which we attempted to implement, wasn’t practical.

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Detailed Design

Design Parts

Custom Made Parts: The final product consisted of total of 6 separate parts; 5 out of 6 of the parts were custom-made while one was purchased. The custom-made parts were manufactured using multiple 3D printers available on CMU campus. Multiple printers were used in order to meet the time requirement as well as due to each machine’s different size constraints as some parts were bigger than the printing area of the printer. All of the in-house components were modeled in SolidWorks to accurately detail the final design, and was printed in the material of ABS plastic. All the details of the dimension specifications of the manufactured parts is displayed in Appendix A We employed no purchased or electrical parts in this model in an effort to keep costs down.

Purchased Parts: Only one portion of the final design consisted of purchased component, that component being the torsional spring. The details of the purchased spring’s specifications are shown below. This specific spring was chosen mainly for its wind direction and number of active coils. Wind direction and the leg length were chosen to fit into the shape and size of the final product, especially for the handle area; two handles must cross each other, which require one handle to overlap. This gap between two handles make flat springs difficult to be implemented. It can be said the same for other dimensions such as spring outside diameter and the leg length. Note that there were few changes in the final design in order to fit for the spring as well.

Specification

Detail

Material

Steel Music Wire

Deflection Angle

180°

Wind Direction

Clockwise (Left-Hand) Wound

Spring Outside Diameter

.803’’

Wire Diameter

0.078’’

Leg Length

2.000’’

Maximum Rod Outside Diameter

0.500’’

Spring Length at Torque

0.660’’

Number of Active Coils

7

Torque

10.446in-lbs

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21 Engineering Analysis We ran several analyses on our final model. We had to determine if

Engineering Analysis

We ran several analyses on our final model. We had to determine if our handles were ergonomic enough for users to handle comfortably, and we also had to determine whether or not

it our parts would mechanically fail under standard loading.

The more important analysis was

the ergonomic analysis we ran on the handles we used. The handles were intended for one handed operation, and as such we designed them so that you could easily grip with one hand. However, in addition to that, we had to ensure that when the handles were squeezed, the hands remained comfortable. To do that, we designed the handles in such a fashion that as you

squeezed, your hand slid down, remaining comfortable, not crossing over, and sliding right into the notch we carved for it.

In addition to the ergonomic analysis, we ran FEA analysis on our parts to determine if they would fail under load.

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22 We analyzed the snap joints, which we determined were the most likely point of mechanical

We analyzed the snap joints, which we determined were the most likely point of mechanical failure on the final assembly. Since we could only do proper FEA analysis on a part, it was important to make sure that the conditions given to the part will be as close as possible to the case where the part is assembled into the complete system. Boundary condition was applied on the flat, round surface of the joint, and the “neck” area of the joint since both of the surface will be in full contact when assembled. The loading was applied on the thinner part of the mushroom shaped snap joint and the magnitude was 10N. This number was chosen so that the clothes hanger can hold up to 2Kg of clothes. Initially, this was thought to be an overestimate because of the angled surface of the top arm, distribution of clothing weight on the clothes hanger would not be converted to a point force at the end of the joint. Unfortunately, this was verified to be an underestimate because it did not take account of weight of the material; ABS plastic. Based on the results of this FEA analysis, we determined that the maximum stress on the snap joints was well within acceptable tolerances; the maximum stress in the joint was 10.4 times smaller than the yield strength of ABS. Our loading conditions assumed the maximum loading conditions expected under normal wear and tear. This analysis did not account for any extreme loading conditions, but those are outside normal use.

Manufacturing Techniques

In order to construct our final prototype, we utilized the Art Department’s 3D Printer, which took our final CAD model and output a perfect match in ABS plastic. While a good method for rapid prototyping, this is a poor method for mass production, since it is far more expensive to use the 3D printer than is economical for mass production. No other methods were tested as other machines available could not manufacture parts in plastic but aluminum instead. It was important that our final design is not heavy, thus 3D printer was utilized. Also, because most of parts of our design were rather miniscule, printing method appeared to be most optimal.

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Assembly of the Parts

23 Assembly of the Parts Our final design was made so that each part can be

Our final design was made so that each part can be easily assembled by applying light force into the snap joints to drive the mushroom-shaped joint into its slot. However, in the earlier attempt of assembling printed parts, it required too much force. Using hammer, the parts were able to be assembled but it resulted fracture in some of the snap joints. After this mistake, the design joints were modified to have more clearance between the protruding head and its hole.

For the final assembly, a total of 7 parts were printed. These parts are displayed and described on Appendix A; hook part, two handles, two top joints and two bottom joints. Once our final parts had been 3D printed, it was assembled in a similar manner as the previous assembling attempt with the test print, but required very light tap of hammer. The use of the hammer may have been unnecessary, but doing so helped the joints remain flush throughout the process which put less stress on the parts of the mechanism. The bottom joints were assembled first, and then the spring was inserted into the hole available in the top joints’ handles. After the spring was secure, the top handles’ snap joints were assembled into the holes made on the hook part. As a result, these joints allowed full rotation of the parts while preventing the hanger’s parts from twisting and moving out of the proper plane.

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Life Cycle Assessment

If our final design was mass produced, it would require a great deal of ABS plastic, or whichever other plastic the injection molding process utilized. The manufacturing will also require stocks of springs which would be made of steel. Since it would be optimal to use injection molding to make all the parts of the hanger, a heavy amount of heat input would be required. Fortunately, there would not be much excess material that will become unusable since they will be in liquid form to cast instead of other manufacturing techniques that creates excess waste material such as forging or extruding. By comparison, this product will use more resources as well as manufacturing time and cost than the existing hangers. Therefore this product is not very energy efficient during the manufacturing part of the life cycle.

While in use in the market sector, the newly designed product has an advantage when it comes to damage since if the bottom joints break the two bottom joints are identical and therefore easily replaceable;. This reduces the chance of the hanger becoming completely useless because a piece of part has failed, which would reduce the amount of waste from the users. Also, all the part except the spring should be recyclable as the spring is the only part of the product that is not made of plastic. For this part of the life cycle, our final design would have more advantage by reducing amount of waste.

Overall, it is concluded that our product will not be entirely environmentally friendly due to significantly high amount of energy and resources required to make a single unit of product compared to the existing product which has no extra parts, but is made of single piece of material. Even though our product showed reduces in waste during the consumer part of the cycle, it would not overcome the negative impact done by the manufacturing process; the prevention of hanger losing its usability completely is not significant enough.

Cost Report

We spent approximately 32 man-hours of engineering time between the research, CAD modeling, and assembly of our product. Assuming that an engineering man-hour costs $40, this puts our final engineering costs at $1280. Our labor costs, which would be significantly less costly per hour, probably about $20 an hour, would be about $80, since we spent about 4 man- hours in labor on our final prototype. The manufacturing costs of our final prototype were high – about $270 for the unit – but that was due to the nature of the manufacturing as a 3D print. Once mass produced, injection molding could likely reduce unit costs to less than $1 a unit for manufacturing costs.

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Itemized list:

3D print of bottom joints from Chemical Engineering Machine Shop - $70

Torsional springs - $68.95

o 3D print of components from Digital Fabrication Lab - $ 129.49 Total: $268.44

Evaluation

The final version of our project was had some successful components and some that were a little disappointing. One highly successful aspect of the final product was the motion of the hinges and their range of travel. A user could ergonomically apply pressure all of the way up to a vertical position of the handles and easily get the hanger width down below the 10 centimeter mark we set as our goal based on the average width of a shirt neck. Also, the hinge joints were highly successful at creating a snag-free, single-plane motion that allowed our design to very easily slip in and out of shirt-necks.

25 Itemized list: ∑ 3D print of bottom joints from Chemical Engineering Machine Shop - $70

Operation of Hanger in SolidWorks

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26 Operation of Hanger in Physical Prototype However, the one disappointing aspect of our design was
26 Operation of Hanger in Physical Prototype However, the one disappointing aspect of our design was

Operation of Hanger in Physical Prototype

However, the one disappointing aspect of our design was the functionality of the torsional spring we used. In the tests we ran preparing for the implementation of the spring, we performed all of our analysis assuming that the spring applied a moment only in the plane of desired motion. However, due to the spacing created by the coils a twisting moment was created in an orthogonal direction that put some strange stresses on the hanger that were not tested previously. In addition, the twisting created a good deal of rubbing between the handles that created a lot of friction and made it very difficult for the spring to smoothly move the part. Therefore, the prototype ended up being used predominately without the spring which enabled very smooth movement and a good demonstration of our product. In order to better optimize the design’s functionality, however, we would need to either find a truly single-planar torsional spring or revert to our old design which had the inverted bottom angle and so relied on geometry rather than spring energy to operate.

These shortcomings aside, the overall user-response was very positive. The majority of those who were shown the product acknowledged that they themselves had problems with the problem addressed by the hanger, and also said that the design we presented would be a very clever and very functional solution to the problem. The selling point that seemed to be the most pleasing was different based on who was asked. While the commercial-setting employees most appreciated the speed aspect, the individual consumers addressed great interest in its use for specialty garments such as sweaters and dresses that would be especially to use hangers with, and that might be damaged by carelessness while using the hanger. In each market segment, however, we got great response and so we really feel like we ended up making a useful product with a legitimate opportunity gap to be filled.

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In the final manufacture and distribution of our product, there are several key points that we figured out will be important. One would be the gadget appeal of the snap joints we used, with demonstrations of their smooth operation and the way that they hold their disk shape to prevent snags in the clothing. Another would be to devote a lot of attention to making people realize the hassles that they put up with using regular hangers to make them realize the ways that our product could benefit them. Finally, the key point would vary based on who the target audience is. For large-scale chains we would need to have effective demonstrations laid out that show how much efficiency can be improved by our product with every article of clothing, and thus make the case of how much more effective their employees could be if our product was implemented. As for home-users, it would be very important to show how effective it is on the specialty garments, as they will not interact with the hanger as much and therefore will need to see significant improvement in each use to make it worthwhile.

Conclusion

What We Learned

Through lectures and group works, we felt our exposure to the earlier stage of design process was extremely valuable. While some parts were intuitive, such as brainstorming and researching sessions, optimizing the outcome and method for effective early design process was obtained as well as identifying flaws of our own methods. During the early design process, it was identified that the communication between teammates were not very sufficient and believed that tasks such as brainstorming and researching could be achieved individually. We decided that this must be rectified due to insufficient results as well as extreme difficulty of processes because each of the tasks was being completed by a single person separately. It was also noted during this time that when researching and brainstorming occurs in parallel, the results improved. As we moved on in the design process, our function as a group improved significantly, and much more progress was made of higher quality. These group work skills were another place that we grew a great deal over the course of the semester as a result of this project.

We felt we received a very rare opportunity to see how engineers must explore the users in order to identify the problem with the highest opportunity. It was not entirely intuitive in the beginning that the way the problems and questions are posed the consumer can affect how they respond. We treasure the researching guides given to us to improve communication between the consumers, and we believe that method used on this stage can create very strong impact on the final design.

The general process of the entire design was rather intuitive, but it felt significant for us that we were exposed to some of the details and its methods. For example, the concept of

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“prototype” was very easy to understand, but to be exposed to its true purpose, evaluating discoveries and going through multiple iterations made us take a second look at what we are actually doing and how the design evolves through the changes we make. We also felt it was important that we were assigned to make a short “progress report” on prototypes as we were to evaluating our own process and were able to pick out flaws in our method and approach. We are slightly disappointed that we failed to make a very detailed prototype that showed clear improvements. Due to lack of effort in planning ahead, our third prototype would not give us many insights what issues or advantages our final product would have. We also felt that this hindrance reduced our maximum possible experience of the process of prototyping.

This was not done through any specific activity, but we learned, throughout the process, important considerations that must be put into the design. For example, learning about the evaluation of a life cycle of a product left us a great impression. It was not something that was reminded us to think about during early conceptualization, but it was extremely important to take it into consideration as all the product is part of the giant cycle within our environment.

We all entered the class assuming once we had identified the problem we would implement a solution and be done with it. We also learned a lot about the entire process of going from initial design to final physical implementation. Moving from problem identification to concept generation via brainstorming, to concept selection via Pugh analysis, all the way to final prototyping really gave us an appreciation of the entire arc or the design process, something we hadn’t been through before in other classes and it was really beneficial. The brainstorming session and guidance we received from the course faculty were in particular useful towards our overall understanding of the design process.

Revisiting SET, VOA, and Pugh Charts

As for our goals, we accomplished much of what we set out to in our SET and VOA goals. Socially, our product could easily lead to neater, better organized homes and retail outlets, as well as creating a far nicer and neater shopping environment. That would carry over into our economic factor successes, with the neater store and better environment encouraging people to shop at the location using our product. Our product would also increase employee efficiency, leading to higher profits for the parent company. As for our VOA factors, we accomplished much of what we set out to do there as well. In the areas of durability and comfort, we created a product that is flatly superior to the existing clothes hanger. Our product is also significantly easier to use, which was the primary goal of our project. The aesthetic look of our product is also much better, creating a look that makes our product look good rather than the appearance of existing products, which look cheap. Overall our final prototype accomplished much of what our SET and VOA analyses indicated we needed to do.

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Looking back at our Pugh Analysis, we accomplished most of what we set out to do with that set of criteria. Our two biggest goals were to improve ease of use and reduction of effort. While we solidly accomplished ease of use, the reduction of effort category still leaves some room for improvement. As for the other criteria, our hanger certainly has a great deal of gadget appeal, and while it is harder to manufacture and costs more than existing products the long-term savings from increased employee efficiency our product allows for would offset these. Unfortunately we believe our final product had significantly large negative effect on the ‘ease of manufacturing’ criteria as well as some other important criteria that was not mentioned in the Pugh chart. First off, our final design uses much more amount of material in order to be produced compared to the original clothes hanger. Secondly, our final design requires act of assembling. While joints were required to accomplish our design, it adds too much complexity of the overall product and will not be ideal for a product that must be mass-produced very quickly. However, we believe the complexity was added in order to fulfill the project requirement and decided not to update our Pugh chart.

What would have we done differently?

We see many things would have done differently in our project. One of the biggest weaknesses came during the prototyping process where we did not use our opportunity to make huge design leaps effectively, instead settling for a more gradual evolution that was less helpful. Toward the end, this left too many significant design changes to implement which led to such difficulties as the torsional spring operation. We believe that if we went through more iterative process creating prototypes, these issues would have been addressed earlier and created a more functional final product.

In addition, early on in the design process the group coordination was a major weakness for us. This led to a lack of progress that put us into an early hole as there was not enough collaboration to accomplish enough in a timely fashion. While we improved during the later stages of the project, we certainly would start out the project working much better in the early stages were we to go through this again, and we feel confident that this would yield better results.

Unresolved Issues and Note for Continuation of Project

The major unresolved issue at present is that our hanger does not allow for easy one- handed operation. One of the issues was friction between the legs of the spring and the ABS hole supporting the spring. In fact, the support for the spring was not very well constructed, thus the spring could not apply equal amount of torque onto both top legs, which caused irregular movements and prevent two arms from smoothly folding together. Also, our plan to use a torsional spring did not consider the extra torque into the unwanted axis; the torque that will cause snap joints on the hook to pop out. As such, our final prototype was imperfect. By either creating a torsional spring that does not impart a twisting moment on the hanger or by returning

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to a pure geometry system for maintaining shape similar to our second prototype, we feel this issue could be easily addressed. Future teams attempting this project should look into either of these as solutions to fully finish the design.

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Appendix A

Engineering drawing of custom made parts

Hook

31 Appendix A Engineering drawing of custom made parts Hook
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Bottom Joints

There are two bottom joints in the final assembly. Note that both are identical and were both manufactured using specifications shown below.

32 Bottom Joints There are two bottom joints in the final assembly. Note that both are
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Right Handle

Note that when assembled, this handle is actually interacted in the left side.

33 Right Handle Note that when assembled, this handle is actually interacted in the left side.
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Left Handle

Note that when assembled, this handle is actually interacted in the right side.

34 Left Handle Note that when assembled, this handle is actually interacted in the right side.
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Right Top Arm

35 Right Top Arm
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Left Top Arm

36 Left Top Arm